Simpson outlasts McDowell, Thompson to win US Open

Simpson outlasts McDowell, Thompson to win US Open
Webb Simpson hits a drive on the 12th hole during the fourth round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament Sunday at The Olympic Club in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO — Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open and put two more names into the graveyard of champions.

Overlooked for so much of the week, Simpson emerged on a fog-filled Sunday at The Olympic Club with four birdies around the turn and a tough chip out of a hole to the right of the 18th green that he converted into par for a 2-under 68.

He finished at 1-over 281, and it was enough to outlast former U.S. Open champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell.

Furyk bogeyed two of his last three holes. McDowell had a 25-foot birdie on the 18th to force a playoff, but it never had a chance.

"Oh, wow," Simpson said, watching from the locker room.


Olympic is known as the "graveyard of champions" because proven major winners who were poised to win the U.S. Open have always lost to the underdog. One of those was Arnold Palmer in 1966, when he lost a seven-shot lead on the back nine.

Perhaps it was only fitting that the 25-year-old Simpson went to Wake Forest on an Arnold Palmer scholarship.

"Arnold has been so good to me," Simpson said. "Just the other day, I read that story and thought about it. He's meant so much to me and Wake Forest. Hopefully, I can get a little back for him and make him smile."

No one was beaming like Simpson, who followed a breakthrough year on the PGA Tour with his first major.

No one was more disgusted than Furyk, in control for so much of the final round until he snap-hooked his tee shot on the par-5 16th hole to fall out of the lead for the first time all day, and was unable to get it back. Needing a birdie on the final hole, he hit into the bunker. He crouched and clamped his teeth onto the shaft of his wedge. Furyk made bogey on the final hole and closed with a 74, a final round without a single birdie.

McDowell, who made four bogeys on the front nine, at least gave himself a chance with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 17th and a shot into the 18th that had him sprinting up the hill to see what kind of chance he had. The putt stayed left of the hole the entire way, and he had to settle for a 73.

McDowell shared second place with Michael Thompson, who closed with a 67 and waited two hours to see if it would be good enough.

Tiger Woods, starting five shots behind, played the first six holes in 6-over par and was never a factor. He shot 73 and finished six strokes back.


Furyk was fuming, mostly at himself, for blowing a chance at his second U.S. Open title. He also was surprised that the USGA moved the tee up 100 yards on the 16th hole to play 569 yards. It was reachable in two shots for some players, though the shape of the hole featured a sharp turn to the left.

"There's no way when we play our practice rounds you're going to hit a shot from a tee 100 yards up unless someone tells you," Furyk said. "But the rest of the field had that same shot to hit today, and I'm pretty sure no one hit as (bad) a shot as I did. I have no one to blame but myself.

"I was tied for the lead, sitting on the 16th tee," he said. "I've got wedges in my hand, or reachable par 5s, on the way in and one birdie wins the golf tournament. I'm definitely frustrated."

But he gave Simpson his due.

Of the last 18 players to tee off in the final round, Simpson was the only one to break par. That didn't seem likely when Simpson was six shots behind as he headed to the sixth hole, the toughest at Olympic. That's where he started his big run.

"It was a cool day," Simpson said. "I had a peace all day. I knew it was a tough golf course. I probably prayed more the last three holes than I ever did in my life."




At The Olympic Club

San Francisco

Purse: $8 million

Yardage: 7,170; Par: 70

Final Round


Webb Simpson    72-73-68-68—281

Michael Thompson     66-75-74-67—282


Graeme McDowell    69-72-68-73—282

David Toms    69-70-76-68—283

Padraig Harrington    74-70-71-68—283

John Peterson    71-70-72-70—283

Jason Dufner    72-71-70-70—283

Jim Furyk    70-69-70-74—283

Ernie Els     75-69-68-72—284

Casey Wittenberg     71-77-67-70—285


Retief Goosen    75-70-69-71—285

John Senden    72-73-68-72—285

Kevin Chappell     74-71-68-72—285

Lee Westwood    73-72-67-73—285

K.J. Choi    73-70-74-69—286

Steve Stricker    76-68-73-69—286

Adam Scott    76-70-70-70—286

Aaron Watkins    72-71-72-71—286


Martin Kaymer    74-71-69-72—286

Fredrik Jacobson    72-71-68-75—286

Nick Watney    69-75-73-70—287

a-Jordan Spieth     74-74-69-70—287

Raphael Jacquelin    72-71-73-71—287

Justin Rose    69-75-71-72—287

Tiger Woods    69-70-75-73—287

Blake Adams    72-70-70-75—287

Matt Kuchar    70-73-71-74—288

Nicholas Colsaerts    72-69-71-76—288

Davis Love III    73-74-73-69—289

Alistair Presnell    70-74-75-70—289

Morgan Hoffmann     72-74-73-70—289

Francesco Molinari     71-76-72-70—289

Robert Karlsson     70-75-72-72—289

Kevin Na     74-71-71-73—289

Scott Langley    76-70-70-73—289

Charlie Wi     74-70-71-74—289

a-Beau Hossler     70-73-70-76—289

Charl Schwartzel     73-70-74-73—290

Hunter Mahan     72-71-73-74—290

Sergio Garcia    73-71-71-75—290

Zach Johnson    77-70-73-71—291

Rickie Fowler    72-76-71-72—291

a-Patrick Cantlay    76-72-71-72—291

Ian Poulter    70-75-73-73—291

Alex Cejka     78-69-70-74—291


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